Vol. 71 No. 2 Toronto, May-June, 1990
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document.
"YOU DO NOT KNOW ME"
On May 8,1891, the personality known as Helena Petrovna Blavatsky died in London, England. Ever since then, Theosophists worldwide have remembered her on the anniversary of her death, White Lotus Day. Not in the form of worship (nothing surely would displease her more) but with a feeling of love and thankfulness for all she accomplished and left to us as her legacy.
Her early life and travels presented many hardships and trials but her real work no doubt began when she arrived in New York in 1873 and gathered some followers around her to form the Theosophical Society in 1875.
From the publication of Isis Unveiled in 1877 to her death, her literary output was enormous. It included The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theosophy; also very many articles in The Theosophist and her own magazine, Lucifer, which now comprise the most part of fourteen volumes of the H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings. And, of course, her priceless little gem, The Voice of the Silence. All this within a period of approximately fifteen years and written by hand.
Who was Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, H.P.B.? She was certainly not without faults but, according to the Masters, she was the best available for their purpose at that time for re-introducing the Ancient Wisdom to the West. In The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, K.H., in replying to a questioner, stated: "I am not at liberty to say... who I am, or may be, or even who H.P.B. is."
In a letter to Sinnett, Blavatsky herself says: "Do you believe that, because you have fathomed - as you think - my physical crust and brain ... you have ever penetrated even beneath the first cuticles of my Real Self? ... What I say is this: You do not know me; for whatever there is inside it, is not what you think it is." And it is said that in her own copy of The Voice of the Silence she had written "H.P.B. to H.P. Blavatsky with no kind regards."
So, whoever she was, her great legacy to us was her writings, none of which she asked us to accept with blind faith, but to use, study and compare. In the S.D. she quoted the words of Montaigne: "I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them." She went on: "Pull the 'string' to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if you will. As for the nosegay of FACTS - you will never be able to make away with these. You can only ignore them, and no more."
As every student knows, a study of Theosophy is not for the mentally lazy. It requires a great deal of hard work, sifting, comparing, and, even then, ending up with many more questions than answers.
Again, to live up to the Theosophical ideals in a materialistic environment means quite often swimming against the current, requiring much inner strength of purpose. No, it is not easy. No wonder, then, that our numbers are not great when compared with many other organizations. However, the words of H.P.B. to William Q. Judge in London when he raised the question of drawing people into the Society seem applicable. She said, "We are not working merely that people may call themselves Theosophists, but that the doctrines we cherish may affect and leaven the whole mind of the century. This alone can be accomplished by a small earnest band of workers, who work for no human reward, no earthly recognition, but who, supported and sustained by a belief in the Universal Brotherhood of which our Masters are a part, work steadily, faithfully, in understanding and putting forth for consideration the doctrines of life and duty that have come down to us from immemorial time."
So, it is for us and those who follow us to carry on the work to which H.P.B. devoted her life. In his address at H.P.B.'s funeral, G.R.S. Mead remarked that our gratitude and appreciation could alone be shown if each individually took up our share of the task of continuing the work that H.P.B. had so nobly commenced.
May 11 was the day of the funeral. Accompanied by Theosophists, her body was transported to the crematorium. Mead relives for us that eventful day:
"The way from the Woking Station to the crematorium led through a length of pleasant sunlit lanes, arched over with new-born leaves, and the beauty of a glorious May morning brightened the grief which even the calmest-minded felt, for it takes many incarnations to 'kill the heart' and lose all preference for the personality. Indeed on that particular morning nature showed herself in one of her happiest moods and seemed to smile a joyous farewell to the body of one of her dearest and most wondrously endowed children."
Her aim was to elevate the race. Her method was to deal with the mind of the century as she found it, by trying to lead it on step by step; to seek out and educate a few who, appreciating the majesty of the Secret Science and devoted to "the great orphan Humanity," could carry on her work with zeal and wisdom; to found a Society whose efforts - however small itself might be - would inject into the thought of the day, the ideas, the doctrines, the nomenclature of the Wisdom Religion.
- William Q. Judge
STUDIES IN EARLY AMERICAN THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
- Michael Gomes
V. R.B. WESTBROOK'S "REMINISCENCES OF ORIGINAL AMERICAN THEOSOPHISTS"
For someone with such a bad reputation, surprisingly little was published against Mme. Blavatsky during her lifetime. If the Coulomb charges were news in India in 1884, and Hodgson's Report equally devastating in England in 1885, America seemed remarkably sheltered. This early American period, as Ted Davy has pointed out, appears "a relatively happy time and the inevitable controversies were hardly crippling" (The Canadian Theosophist (C.T.) Mar-Apr 1988, p. 20).
When news of these attacks did come, it did not seriously disturb the membership. Ella Wheeler Wilcox's attitude, conveyed in a letter to Elliott Coues, Nov. 15, 1885, seems to have been typical. "I am deeply interested in Theosophy and the recent confessions of Madame Blavatsky (convinced?) me inexpressibly without shaking my faith in the existence of the Great Truth of the Theory" (Coues Papers, State Historical Society of Wisconsin).
The major American expose came from Elliott Coues, former President of the T.S. American Board of Control, who was expelled from the Society in 1889. It was published in the New York Sun of July 20, 1890, and, as is well known, Mme. Blavatsky sued for libel.
Leading up to Coues' revelations in the Sun, where he gathered, as one veteran newspaper man remembered, "every calumny that could be imagined or raked together from the ends of the earth" (A.E.S. Smythe, Toronto Theosophical News, July, 1931; for background on the Coues article, see M. Gomes, "Malicious and False from First to Last," C.T. Jan-Feb 1986, pp. 128-130), the Religio-Philosophical Journal (R-P.J.) had served as a sounding board for all sorts of dire charges against the Theosophists. Coues and novelist Mabel Collins wrote in hinting that they could throw more light on the path behind certain theosophical incidents. Mme. Blavatsky was ridiculed under headlines like "Muscovite Mesmerism." Almost every issue of 1889 contained some derogatory reference to Theosophy.
R.B. Westbrook's "Reminiscences of Early American Theosophists" was published in the R-P.J., Sept. 14, 1889, as part of the evidence against the movement. The Westbrooks, "rational spiritualists for many
copyright 1990 by Michael Gomes
years," had been glowingly introduced to readers of the Journal earlier that year after the editor visited them in Philadelphia. Richard Brodhead Westbrook, then in his "70th year," began life on a farm. At 19 he was a licensed Methodist preacher, withdrawing from that church in 1852 to join the Presbyterians. He studied law at New York University and was admitted to the Bar in 1863. In 1889 he was President of the American Secular Union (R-P.J., May 18,1899, pp. 4-5; a sketch of his life is also given in the Freethinker, London, Aug. 18, 1889, p. 329, with slight variation).
Westbrook was one of the Councillors of the Theosophical Society at its formation, his name appearing as such in the printed By-Laws of 1875. He apparently kept his affiliation till 1877, for he is designated Vice-President with Alexander Wilder. His "Reminiscences," reprinted in full below, has served as the source for two accusations against H.P.B. The first, dealing with Jennie Holmes, will be analysed here. The second at the conclusion of his article.
The story of the Holmes controversy which shook the Spiritualist movement at the beginning of 1875 is narrated in The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, pp. 45-61. It is also recounted in Richard Leopold's biography Robert Dale Owen (Harvard University Press, 1940), and by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his History of Spiritualism, Vol. I, London 1926. Former Senator Robert Dale Owen's testimonials on the Holmes mediums brought Spiritualism wide publicity, but in December, 1874, he announced that he was withdrawing his assurances for the genuineness of phenomena witnessed in their presence. This precipitated a crisis for Spiritualism, especially after the impersonator of the spirit "Katie King" came forward and published her story. As Leopold has it, "The comely Katie, for weeks a national mystery, had become a national joke" (Owen, 404).
Far from Olcott undertaking an investigation of the Holmeses to bolster sales of his book, as Westbrook describes it, he had been invited by Owen before the story broke, because of his reputation as a psychic researcher (see Olcott's letter of acceptance to Owen, Dec. 10, 1874, Dreer Collection, State Historical Society of Pennsylvania). The mediums themselves wrote him of their willingness to submit to any test conditions he might prescribe and their letter is printed in People From the Other World, p. 427.
Nor was Olcott the only one to uphold the genuineness of the phenomena he witnessed with the Holmeses. General Francis J. Lippitt's favourable report was printed in the Banner of Light, Feb. 6 and 13, 1875. J.M. Roberts published his own review of the way the Holmes case was exploited by the press. Till the end of his life Owen still believed the mediums had "under certain conditions, considerable
powers of materialization," though they "dishonestly supplemented those powers to a greater or less extent" (Owen to the Editor of the American Spiritual Magazine, Memphis, Oct. 1876, pp. 294-95, reiterating his statement in the May 1, 1875 Banner of Light.)
Mme. Blavatsky's correspondence at the time clearly shows that she believed the mediums to be "frauds" (see Blavatsky to Lippitt, Mar. 9, 1875, H.P.B. Speaks I, 55-56. A note in her handwriting at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles reveals the reason for her public silence. "Poor old Robert Dale Owen! Mrs. Holmes did cheat & I held my tongue from the first out of regard to the feelings of the old man," and ends by calling Mrs. Holmes "the biggest fraud of the age & the Spiritualists." (H.P.B.'s "Important Note," B:CW I, p. 37, on her role in this matter should also be consulted.)
Westbrook's oblique statement that "Mrs. Holmes subsequently affirmed that the Madame proposed to her a partnership in the materialization show-business," has become so inflated that a recent biographer can cite his article to make it seem that "some years later, Jennie Holmes would admit to a founder of the Theosophical Society, that Madame had arranged the spurious phenomenon for Olcott's benefit" (Marion Meade, Madame Blavatsky, 1980, p. 135, echoing Gertrude Marvin Williams' 1946 account in Priestess of the Occult, p. 78, where Mrs. Holmes "confessed the whole elaborate machinery of deception" to a committee that included Westbrook)!
The reader will search the original in vain for such a sweeping denunciation. Westbrook's terminology tries to elevate Mrs. Holmes' opinion to almost legal status when he says she "affirmed," but he does not go as far as making himself liable for her statements. Mrs. Holmes is not known to have written to the Spiritualist papers suggesting such a revelation, nor was she ever interviewed as admitting or confessing this.
On the basis of this vague admission, Mme. Blavatsky has been condemned because of the bias or sloppy research of subsequent writers. Like so many of the accusations brought against her, nothing ever developed out of it, and as Westbrook says, "for some reason or other" Blavatsky failed to take advantage of the association with Mrs. Holmes.
(Continued after Westbrook article)
REMINISCENCES OF ORIGINAL AMERICAN THEOSOPHISTS
by R.B. Westbrook
From 1874 to 1877 I had an intimate acquaintance with the personnel of the American Theosophical Society. Col. Olcott, the President-Founder, commenced his public career as an occultist in the capacity of a newspaper correspondent who was sent by a New York publisher to Chittenden, Vermont, to report on the Eddy farce, then attracting wide attention. His newspaper letters culminated in his book, "People from the Other World," which is now interesting reading in the light of recent developments. I think that Olcott first met Blavatsky at that Mecca of modern materialization, the Eddy homestead; at least their intimacy began there. About the time that Olcott's book was ready for the press the "Katy King" fraud was exposed in Philadelphia, and the spirit Katy was proved to be a very solid personage, in the form of a live woman, with flesh and bones, who acted her part for pay. This Holmes humbug must be denied and the medium vindicated or "People From the Other World" would not sell. The Colonel and the Madame hied them to the City of Brotherly Love, to back up the Holmeses and prevent Olcott's book from falling dead from the press - and they, of course, succeeded in the white-washing device, at least in the estimation of a large flock of gulls! Mrs. Holmes subsequently affirmed that the Madame proposed to her a partnership in the materialization show-business, with Col. Olcott as manager, claiming that she had already so "psychologized" him that "he did not know his head from his heels!" For some reason or other the partnership was not formed and the gullible public missed the "greatest show on earth."
It was well understood, however, in "esoteric circles" and among the "secret wisdom" people of Philadelphia, that the magical Madame showed the medium Holmes how to stand the "tests" and vindicate her mediumship after the thorough exposure of her frauds. Indeed, Col. Olcott himself afterward said among his friends in New York, that the medium, Holmes, was vindicated through the secret power of the Madame - a fact which soon after I had good reason to believe! The Madame had several escapades in Philadelphia as well as in New York, of which I cannot now speak. She was certainly at that time a most captivating woman, and could act the lady in any society and show off her mantles of Russian royalty and court costumes in a very bewitching manner. Col. Olcott told me that she was then ninety years of age, and preserved her youthful beauty by her marvelous secret arts. She must now be about one hundred and five! She knew well how to adapt herself to her surroundings and never let herself down to vulgarity, in the presence of ladies and gentlemen, except when she lost her temper, as, for instance, when in quite a large company I heard her call Olcott a liar! Indeed, there were times when her contemptuous treatment of the gallant Colonel was most humiliating to behold.
In 1875, I think, a most important incident in my theosophical experience occurred. My friend, the distinguished Unitarian preacher, Rev. W.R. Alger, of Boston, was supplying the pulpit now occupied by the Rev. Robert Collyer in New York. Dr. Alger had heard of the wonderful Madame and expressed a desire to meet her. I could not take him to the "lamissary" rooms occupied by her, so I arranged to have the accomplished clergyman meet her at our apartments at No. 15 W. 42nd Street. The eventful evening came.
Present, Dr. Alger, Madame Blavatsky, Col. Olcott, Mrs. Emma Hardinge-Britten, Mrs. Westbrook and myself. The Queen of Sheba never could have been more elegantly arrayed or conversed more charmingly than did Madame Blavatsky that night. Alger seemed charmed, and listened with becoming meekness. Mrs. Britten was put upon the defense of her mediumship by the occasional flings of the Madame (who could never tolerate a rival) and acquitted herself with her accustomed dignity and grace. At 9 o'clock she withdrew from the company to attend upon her aged mother, to whom she was greatly devoted, and so missed the event of that bright evening. We were in a brilliantly lighted large "upper room." The Madame waxed more eloquent than ever after the exit of Mrs. Britten, and poured forth a perfect stream of Oriental wisdom. Alger seemed almost dazed, though at times a little startled at certain expressions of the Madame that seemed like blasphemy.
We inwardly rejoiced that we had been successful in engineering this wonderful meeting of these wonderful people. About 10 o'clock the scene suddenly changed; the bell of the outside door rang, as if its brazen cheeks would crack. The door of our upper chamber opened, and into our very midst appeared a being of strange form and manners. It was evidently a woman's figure, though so concealed by head-gear and other drapery that Alger compared he, she or it, to "the man with an iron mask." Mrs. Westbrook, thinking it might be a washer-woman who had got into the wrong house, undertook to take he, she or it by the shoulder and rid our select company of the mysterious intruder, but failed. With tragic air and rapid motion it heartily saluted the Madame, handed her a letter - and as suddenly left the room, rushed down stairs, slamming the front door behind it.
Olcott seemed white with astonishment and reverently whispered, "an elementary" - while the Madame affected great indignation that the "Brothers" should send a special messenger on such unimportant business (she having hastily opened the letter), and as Olcott approached with profound curiosity to know what it all meant she relieved his suspense by informing him that Dr. Pancoast had been refused admission to the Secret Brotherhood in India. It should be known in passing that the celebrated Philadelphia occultist denies that he ever made application for admission. Dr. Alger preserved his clerical dignity, but in leaving me at the front door soon after, contemptuously whispered in my ear, "a put up job!" The Madame grew more indignant as she realized that Alger had failed to be favorably impressed by the "elementary" visitor, and she had failed to make converts.
But how do I know that we had not been visited by an extemporized "angel unawares"? The whole thing was transparently a fraud and a clumsy trick. Of course, this strange visitor was talked about, and discussed pro and con. But a few months later I met a prominent New York Spiritualist, who informed me that he was in possession of facts that satisfied him that the Madame had attempted to deceive Mr. Alger, at our rooms, by hiring an Irish servant girl (to whom he could send me for verification) to personate the "elementary," and had agreed to pay her five dollars for her services, but failing to pay the money, the girl had "gone back" on her and confessed her share in the attempted fraud. I did not go to see the girl as I had suffered enough from the abuse of our hospitality and from this disgraceful attempt to impose upon the confidence of my distinguished clerical friend, and I already knew
that a mean trick had been attempted and had failed.
I do not believe that Olcott had any knowledge of or in any way favored or assisted the Madame in this "elementary" fizzle. From first to last, I believe that Col. Olcott had perfect confidence in the Madame's wonderful knowledge and almost divine power, and honestly longed to become an "adept." He submitted to humiliations and endured hardships and made sacrifices that are beyond description. He had everything to lose, and nothing to gain but "secret wisdom." He had graduated at Harvard, been admitted to the New York bar, had become an expert as an insurance lawyer, had transacted a vast amount of confidential business for the Government during the war, enjoyed the confidence of Lincoln and Stanton, and was pressed by Horace Greeley and other prominent politicians, for Assistant United States Treasurer, under Salmon P. Chase. I know this to be true, as I have seen the original papers. I occupied a suite of law offices at 71 Broadway with Olcott and found him to be honorable and honest. But I then believed and now know that he was so far under the strange influence of that ambitious adventuress Blavatsky, as to be utterly incapable of judging correctly anything that she might say or do. He (like many adherents to false tricky materializing mediums) was a monomaniac. He was as crazy as a loon on everything related to Blavatskyism, though perfectly sane on every other subject. That it is possible to be utterly untrustworthy upon one subject, and yet honorable and true on all others, I know from long observation and experience as a lawyer. This is the most charitable construction to put upon the strange conduct of many Spiritualists as well as Theosophists. But this paper is already too long, and I have not yet begun to tell what I know of Theosophists and Theosophy. I may resume this subject at another time. Meanwhile, Mr. Editor, "lay on" your heaviest blows on all false pretenders and hypocrites, and you will soon hear the cry of "enough." I would as soon have the tower of Babel fall on me, if I were an impostor, as to have one of your powerful and inimitable editorials, such as you have written on Blavatskyism, come crashing upon my devoted head.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 14, 1889.
What are we to make of the story of this impersonation? If Mme. Blavatsky held everyone's attention with her sparkling conversation, why did she need to supplement it with an appearance that only served to detract, and why did she risk her reputation and all her work building up the Theosophical Society by failing to pay this accomplice $5.00?
Westbrook who had the opportunity to meet the servant-girl for verification, reveals his state of mind toward Blavatsky when he admits that "he did not go to see the girl," for he "knew that a mean trick had been attempted and had failed." This servant-girl disappears after Westbrook's mention of her. She is not featured in Coues' 1890 article, nor was she ever brought forward as a witness. Neither do we hear
anything from the Rev. William R. Alger (1822-1905), who was pastor of the Church of the Messiah in New York from 1874 to 1878.
Luckily we are able to identify the "prominent New York Spiritualist" who informed Westbrook of the deception. He turned out to be Henry J. Newton, another former officer of the Society who had become critical. It was Newton, Treasurer of the Society in 1875, who passed the news on to Westbrook that a medium, "Mrs. Phillips," had in turn told him "that it was her maid-servant who had personated a Mahatma at Col. Olcott's request"!
Newton's story of the origin of the Theosophical Movement appeared in the Sunday issue of the New York Herald of Nov. 10, 1895. Here he claimed not only to have proposed the Society and been appointed its first chairman, but also to have suggested its name. Although the article mentions the medium Mrs. Phillips there is no reference to the servant-girl story. Newton's version served as the source for Questor Vitae's "The Real Origin of the Theosophical Society" out a week later in Light (London), Nov. 23 and 30, 1895 (rept. in Theosophical History, July, 1986), and it is here that she is identified, slipped in at the end of the piece. There is no indication that even Newton ever confirmed her story, and the statement rests solely on the medium's word.
If there was an impersonation, Alger's words, "a put-up job" may have quite a different interpretation than Westbrook read into them. Why must it be assumed that only the Westbrooks and Alger were imposed upon? Why can H.P.B. not be allowed the same benefit of the doubt and have been similarly set up, especially as Westbrook admits she was about to make an important "convert," and then try to dismiss it as best she could? Until we receive information that is more than someone telling someone who tells someone else who informs us that these are the facts of the case, it is unwise to pronounce Mme. Blavatsky guilty. Westbrook is likewise in error about Col. Olcott attending Harvard.
MAHATMA LETTERS TRUST
The Mahatma Letters Trust has a new Chairman. Tony Finchett-Maddock has taken over the position formerly filled by the late Rex Dutta and, before him, Christmas Humphreys.
The address of the Trust remains the same: Box 97, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 2LH, England.
HOME STUDY COURSE
A Theosophical correspondence course is now available to Canadian readers. It is offered to new students of Theosophy, especially those who are unable to participate in local study groups.
Further information may be obtained by writing The Theosophical Society in Canada, R.R. No. 3, Burk's Falls, Ont. POA 1C0.
MORE ON A VOYAGE WITH MME. BLAVATSKY
The "Voyage with Mme. Blavatsky" anecdotes which opened the Jan-Feb. number aroused quite a bit of interest. Historian Michael Gomes sent us a photocopy of an old newspaper clipping, a column by "The Rambler" who evidently was another of the passengers on that voyage from Bombay to Colombo in May, 1880. Unfortunately, the clipping is unidentified, so if any reader has another copy in an old scrapbook and can provide more details, or even if anyone knows for which paper "Rambler" wrote, we shall be pleased to hear from you. The clipping is also undated, though from internal evidence it probably appeared in the early spring of 1896, in an American paper.
The recollections of "Rambler" mostly concern his fellow-passengers, of whom Blavatsky and Olcott are named, and a few others briefly described. Though perhaps distorted by the time lapse, his clearest impressions were of Mme. Blavatsky. Here are a few extracts:
"... the saloon passengers all took their meals on deck ... and I found myself seated at the upper right hand corner of the table next to a most remarkable looking woman, arrayed in a very thin silk garment, which I believe may be best described in this part of the world as a 'Mother Hubbard.'
"She was enormously fat, with a skin as soft as a baby's, a face generously freckled, yellowish-brown hair but a few inches long, as fine and fleecy in texture as embroidery silk and crinkled as if by artificial means. The Mother Hubbard, which she wore wide open at the throat, was of a cream-colored hue, covered with little floral designs and its sleeves only came to an inch below the elbows of her plump but nevertheless very pretty arms.
"Across the table directly opposite to me sat a patriarchal person with a long and heavy beard, which was nearly white, and he was also blessed with a wealth of snow-tinged locks and bushy eyebrows, which latter, being much darker, added considerably to the picturesqueness of his appearance.
"The woman was Mme. Blavatsky, the High Priestess of Theosophy, then in the very height of her power in India, and the man was Col. Olcott, then the Prime Minister of the Organization, as it were.
"Except from bedtime until about nine or ten o'clock on the following morning, Mme. Blavatsky spent all her time on deck in one of those big lounging bamboo chairs which are now well known here, or at the table. She chatted a great deal, read a little, and was almost continuously smoking fine Turkish cigarettes, which she did very gracefully and from which habit the front joints of the index and second finger were dyed a rich golden brown.
"Yet, in spite of her enormous bulk, and she must have weighed well over three hundred pounds, she was a rather dainty and abstemious eater, and what she preferred in the way of fluid refreshment I confess to having forgotten entirely.
"I should have said, by the way, that the party was going to Ceylon at the invitation of some high native religious dignitaries, in order to organize the first Theosophist lodge
(Continued on page 46)
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
On behalf of all the members of the Theosophical Society in Canada, I extend warm and hearty congratulations to our Edmonton member, Emory P. Wood, on his 100th birthday, May 12.
Mr. Wood is a long time member and active participant, including on the Board of the Canadian T.S., of which he is now an Honorary Director, commemorating his many years of service to our organization.
As mentioned before, those who keep up their dues seem to live for a very long time...
I am pleased to welcome into the fellowship of the Theosophical Society in Canada Mr. Adrianus A. Verhaegen, of Hawkesville, Ontario, as a member at large.
I regret to report the deaths of three members: Mr. Max Bruder, of Hermes Lodge, who died March 18, 1990; Mrs. Jocelyn Taylor Mitchell, of Toronto Lodge, who died March 3, 1990; and Mrs. Winifred Mollie Yorke, of Victoria Lodge, who died April 22, 1990. On behalf of all members I extend condolence and sympathy to family and friends of these three.
Mrs. Jocelyn Mitchell was the widow of Roy Mitchell, a member of long ago who was well known as a writer and lecturer. Mrs. Mitchell was an artist of considerable repute.
I recall, years ago, when I had a country home in what was then the north end of Oakville, Ontario, that Mr. Dudley Barr said to me one day that he heard that I had a new neighbour, and a fellow-member of Toronto Lodge at that. That caused a mental bell to ring. A lady had moved into the house across the street, and I had noticed the new name "Mitchell" on the rural mail box. So I made a point to introduce myself, and we became good friends.
I saw many of her paintings. She was not averse to realism in her painting, I was pleased to note, with a style that favored pastel tints, rather than strong colours. She painted well into her eighties, but had to stop when bad eyesight developed in her last few years. Her last illness was mercifully rather short.
I regret that I cannot say that the same befell the late Mollie Yorke. She had been in poor health after an operation last September. Mollie had been a Director and Corporate Secretary of The Theosophical Society in Canada since 1986, and her help and good work will be sadly missed. She had also been active in the affairs of Victoria Lodge for over a quarter of a century, including several years' service as a very efficient Lodge Secretary.
My obituarial comments, if more extensive for some, are so only because I can relate more if I knew the departed. This does not mean that those for whom I can give only the bare notice of their passing were not in any way less deserving of favourable comment.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Indian Section. They will be holding their celebration of this event in Varanasi, India, on December 26, 1990, in combination with the Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) which is always held at that time. I give early notice, so that those members who might wish to attend will have time to make suitable arrangements.
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Rannie Publications Limited, Beamsville, Ontario
I mentioned in the Jan-Feb 1990 issue that I did not think we had any need to change our Objects, as some have suggested - our Objects being sufficiently encompassing to serve us. However, I note in several Theosophical magazines a deliberate trend that, if carried out fully in its intent, would require change. That trend is "to avoid the use of sexist language..." In this regard, a word that comes most readily to mind, as commonly used and abused in T.S. circles, is "chairperson" instead of "chairman". (Logic does not obtain in using "chairperson" instead of "chairman" or "chairwoman" when the gender of the person in the chair is seen and rather obvious.) The objectionable part of "chairman" is in the last three letters, forming, you should forgive me for saying it, "man". The use of "man" or plural "men" or "mankind" and such terms is viewed as offensive, where all of the human type is intended in the meaning, and not specifically the males of the human species.
I am ashamed and rather disgusted that such nonsense should creep into Theosophical circles, for we should all know better. "Man" is from the Sanskrit "Manas" meaning "thinker" - which activity some, but not enough, of mankind indulge in, as opposed to the animals and other lower kingdoms, which are alleged not to be able to think. Animals other than the man animal can think to some extent, but it is a rare and developing function. Mankind is supposed to have developed this. Do let us see more of it.
Miss Ianthe Hoskins, General Secretary of the English T.S., in a letter printed in The American Theosophist recently, addressed this same issue over the proposed changing of wording of a T.S. "hymn", and she said, in effect (bless her!) "... the use of the male words where both sexes is intended in the meaning and implied, is a convention of long
standing, and proposed changes are... ungrammatical." (I apologize to Miss Hoskins for not quoting the exact text, having given away my copy of the magazine.)
Some of the substitutes for the conventional use of "man" are awkward, if not outright silly. In psychology, it is well known that the avoidance or suppression of something can have the opposite effect of emphasizing it in a perverse, negative sort of way, and this emphasis can even be the hidden intent. The source of this neutered, asexual form of speaking and writing can be traced to the feminist movement, which while doing great good in striving for equality of situations among the two sexes, has been described, in its emotional tendencies, as being a masculinist movement. But psychological issues I do not want to more than briefly mention. As Theosophists, we should regard all in incarnation as Souls, wearing a physical body of some sex, determined by that Soul's karma and dharma in the process of balancing over our long period of incarnations in the physical; we should give no particular attention to gender attributes by emphasizing or negating, except in the case of biological necessity and convenience - marriage, or equivalent.
To avoid the offensive "man" the nonsexist but still gender-aware person uses "chairperson" as mentioned in an example earlier. Now, if they are going to be logical, how will they treat the words her, she, woman, women, female? Would the last be feperson, to make the non-man more feminine? If this trend is to be used in Theosophical magazines, then the Objects of the Society have to be reworded, the first perhaps becoming: "To form a nucleus of the universal Personhood of Persons (or People?) without distinction ... etc." and the third, "... and the powers latent in persons" or such like. Somehow, the noble intent of the Objects seems weakened by alteration. Perhaps other substitute words will come to the reader's mind, but do not rush to write in - there is no prize.
By now, the acute reader will have noted something, wonder if I did, and if not, why not. But I have been saving it for last, to bring out the noticeable lack of applied "manas" in the so-called non-sexist language. If the "man" in "chairman" is objectionable, so then is the "man" in "human" and in many other words. So if the "man" in "chairman" is objectionable, then if one is to be consistent as well as logical, so also is the "man's" "son" objectionable, so the "son" in "person" renders that word offensive. Therefore, "chairperson" cannot be used, and so on for many of the so-called non-sexist substitutes.
What can be used? Why bother with the silly substitutes, and keep on with the "tried and true"? Miss Hoskins has brought forth the best solution for this dilemma by pointing out the convention of using "male" words where both sexes are implied. Then one should remember the derivation from "manas"; plus regard all humans as being Souls, Souls being genderless; and then use the appropriate gender-based word when the gender is known, seen, or obvious, in which instance the non-sexist word is patently silly, awkward and ridiculous.
In certain countries the local language has gendered nouns, such as France and Germany - all nouns are either masculine or feminine, and in German some are neuter. But consider the problem for the editors of Theosophical journals in those countries if they were to go for the "non-sexist language" nonsense. The mind boggles.
The Lodge continued with its regular Secret Doctrine study class on Wednesday evenings.
The last Wednesday in March was given over to a presentation by Phyllis Olin on "Wholeness: What does it mean to be whole? - How do we become whole?" Phyllis spoke on the subject from her own experience as well as referring to various sources.
"Animals in the Secret Doctrine" was the title of Doris' paper at the end of April.
Good discussion periods with both members and friends followed each presentation.
Doris Davy, Secretary
Although it seems hard to believe now, we had to postpone some meetings because of snow and cold. Also, some of the members have been "under the weather," so we have less than usual to report.
Meetings and studies continue as usual at Hermes. The Wednesday evening group is studying Geoffrey Barborka's book, The Divine Plan, which makes for quite a lot of discussion. Interesting tapes or videos are used from time to time. One especially interesting video was on the life of Krishnamurti from the time he was a small boy in India, through the "Star period", right up until the time of his death.
The regular study of the Mahatma Letters on Wednesday afternoon has continued and a special treat lately was a video entitled, appropriately, "The Masters and Their Letters."
Librarian Diana Cooper has added interesting new books, journals, magazines, videos and tapes to the Library. A new set of Madame Blavatsky's Collected Writings has been added for circulation, while the other set is kept for reference use.
A public lecture was held on Sunday, March 18, when Harold Pym spoke on "Art and Theosophy - the Big Picture: Our Road Home." He showed several of his beautiful and meaningful paintings to an enthusiastic audience. Unfortunately, the planned showing of the Nicholas Roerich paintings has had to be postponed.
We regret to report the death on March 18, 1990, of Max Bruder. He was 83 years old and a long-time member of Hermes Lodge.
We are planning to hold our Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 23, and are looking forward to the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Section in Vancouver on September 22.
Eva Sharp, Secretary
This is a report on the Annual Meeting of the Vancouver Lodge, which was held in the Lodge Rooms on April 11, 1990.
The main focus of Vancouver Lodge is the study of The Secret Doctrine. President Marian Thompson presented her report for 1989, showing that we had covered 230 pages in 30 meetings, reading and discussing, and trying to ingest the knowledge and wisdom revealed. In devotional readings to open the meetings, we finished the Upanishads and started on The Light of Asia. In the last half-hour of our two-hour Wednesday meetings, we have enjoyed John Algeo's tapes on the Bhagavad Gita, then returned to P.G. Bowen's The Occult Way, followed by Judge's Echoes of the Orient.
During the summer closure, the Lodge Library underwent a thorough overhaul by our Librarian Kevin Smith, helped by Marian, Pearl Mussell and Anne Whalen. Extra copies were sent to Edmonton Lodge. Kevin also made a computerized catalogue of titles and authors.
We enjoyed our annual White Lotus Day celebration on May 8, honouring H.P.B. with flowers and readings. We also share a special meeting before Christmas at which we celebrate the esoteric meaning of Christmas. On August 10, the Vancouver and Victoria members joined for the Summer celebration at the Chatwins' on Mayne Island.
Secretary-Treasurer Anne Whalen ably presented the Financial Report for discussion. It was agreed that since our membership has become very small, the serving officers should remain in office as long as they are happy to do so. For this reason, all officers were returned as in the previous year:
President - Marian Thompson
Vice-President - Pearl Mussell
Secretary-Treasurer - Anne Whalen
Corresponding Secretary - Doreen Chatwin
Librarian - Kevin Smith
Following the meeting, Kevin Smith presented an interesting paper concerning Theosophy, which he had prepared as part of his college studies.
Doreen Chatwin, Corresponding Secretary
You must remember that, although there must be local branches of the Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists. - H.P. Blavatsky
ON COMING INTO BEING
From the Innermost Rays of BEING I came, a trillion billion years ago, singing my songs of Joy to Interstellar Space.
I blessed each drop of Fire Mist, and sent it whirling along those corridors of Aether and embedded within each droplet a Ray from my Heart.
I've stood these many millennia, enduring, ever staying, to be assured that all I have cast forth will return to me renewed and full of LIFE.
I have not one Heart, but numberless Hearts, adrift on the Eternal Ocean of Being. In coming into Being have I stepped myself down - down to the Ocean's bottom, where little lives, not sentient or greatly conscious, live; and filled them with my Essence. Held them - loved them - pushed them on from within. And then I was with Man: the Crown of my Creation - full of Heart and Mind, hope, despair, plans and whimsy.
I call to him so often - at each daily hour, but my voice is blocked by his deafness, and the loudness of the roar of clashing matter. Then from matter itself came the clamour for chaotic power and self-service; and Man, with his ear too close to the drum of selfishness, drank from the fountain of darkness and ignorance.
Oh how my voice from the Heart of the ALL strikes upon the deafness and self-satisfaction and the war of Life and Death rings through the realms of Time.
A few of my sensitive ones know of my eternal presence and they vow their lives to the unselfish service of Eternal Love - asking for nought but to serve the Great Lords of Compassion.
In the Jan-Feb C.T., readers were invited to define the word "endexoteric", as used in the following sentence:
"Causes and effects are esoteric, exoteric and endexoteric so to say." (The Secret Doctrine II, 73-74.)
Frankly, to such a challenge, we did not anticipate many replies, and so were pleasantly surprised when no fewer than eight students responded. Some went beyond the called-for dictionary-type definition - one even submitted an essay - but we decided to print all the suggestions received, on the basis that for any one reader, one or several of the proposals might have more meaning than others. So in the event, readers can judge for themselves. As for us, while feeling incompetent to pick "a winner" - impossible anyway under the circumstances - we thought all were worth sharing. Thanks to the generosity of the Blavatsky Institute of Canada, each participant will receive a copy of Roy Mitchell's The Exile of the Soul, as well as our gratitude for contributing to an interesting question.
Those of us who have been involved in Secret Doctrine study classes over the years will not be surprised with the variety of approaches suggested by the responses. And still other directions could have been taken, for example, that by students who use the "Concentric Key" method of study. While each of us must choose which of the many different paths of study to take, we know we are on safe ground as long as the fundamental propositions of the S. D. are not compromised.
The "Endexoteric" question points up another important aspect of S.D. study. As Boris de Zirkoff wrote, "We should never lose sight of certain subtle meanings and half-veiled esoteric hints in H.P.B.'s language." - Eds.
ENDEXOTERIC: extreme limit of exoteric, i.e., a dead-letter sense, pertaining to extreme outlook. Far right of accepted public sense.
- S. Elder
ENDEXOTERIC is matter that has become entirely divorced from spirit. It foreshadows the closing off of both ends of either a minor or a grand cycle, and concomitant with this is the temporary destruction of (or the end of) the opposing relationship between the esoteric and the exoteric. Esoteric as the inner hidden mystery, the CAUSELESS CAUSE, or as the zero, gives rise to the exoteric, the common visible manifested world, the number four. This effect gives rise in turn to an endless chain of causes and effects, which fuel the fires of cyclic evolution. The common visible manifestation stands as an allegory of the inner, hidden, mystery of UNIVERSAL BEING, and this opposing relationship between the two polarities, esoteric and exoteric, or ultimately spirituality and physicality, is based upon attraction (affinity) and repulsion. The end of this relationship is in itself a cause which marks the final descent of spirit into matter or the realm of evil and marks the end of a Maha-yuga, a Manvantara, or a Kalpa. A Manvantara ends with a Sandi (or "the time when day and night border on each other, morning and evening twilight") and a Kalpa begins with a Sandi; and after this twilight period, ENDEXOTERIC has caused or
ushered in a new age and a new human kind. Unfortunately, a dictionary definition of this sweeping and grand concept is sadly anti-climactic when we compare it to the richly suggestive references which may be found in various occult writings. If we can follow the shining thread which runs through these writings, we are rewarded with a plot of the most awe-inspiring story of mankind's evolutionary journey that has been told to date.
Suggested references are:
THE NUMBERS - The Secret Doctrine (S.D.) II, 73; 74; Isis Unveiled (I.U.) 32-33.
THE AGENCIES - The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (2nd ed.) (M.L.) 40-41; S.D. I, 368-369; S.D. I, 377-378 including quotations from Vishnu Purana III, 197 and IV, 237; I.U. 1, 32; 34-35.
THE POLARITIES - S.D. II, 74; Fragments of Occult Truth, VIII (in The Theosophist, 194-195 (May, 1883); M.L. 47.
- Gay Gering
"Esoteric" cause and effect is involved when a conscious effort is made by the generally unseen powers, such as the Lodge, or perhaps Dhyan Chohans, to bring about a particular effect or introduce a new influence. An example would be the teachings given through Blavatsky. Another example might be an avatar.
"Esoteric" cause and effect would result from an obvious source in our everyday environment, such as the influence of powerful leaders like a Gandhi or even a Hitler. There may be hidden forces at work behind the scenes but the apparent ones seem obvious and sufficient.
"Endexoteric" cause and effect would be the result of generally hidden karmic effects in the general mass of the people. "Endo" means "within" and these are necessary results or effects rising from within a person's or the mass of people's nature and karmic make-up. The state of the world today and each individual person is the result of the cause and effect of past Karma, which produces its effect from within-out.
- Mark Jaqua
1) twilight; transition period.
2) the interval between a period of manifestation (exoteric) and dissolution (esoteric).
3) end of exoteric.
- Ernest E. Pelletier
eso is a Greek prefix meaning "inner"; exo is a Greek prefix meaning "outer"; But it so happens that ex(o) has also been adopted by the Latin, for which the equivalent of eso is endo.
The forging up of the word "endexoteric" is a proof that H.P.B. knew her "roots" and did not mix Greek and Latin.
So "endexoteric" means "concurrently endoteric (esoteric) and exoteric".
A good example illustrating this would be the meaning of (the Indian notion) of caste. The Sanskrit term for caste is varna, etymologically "colour". The varna of an individual is made up by his prabara (spiritual heredity, the root of the family name), and the combination of gunas he receives at his birth; for each caste there is a prominent guna and an accessory one; and for each individual, again a principal guna and a secondary one. All this makes up his dharma, which is at the same time esoteric, the line of least resistance for his evolution in this life; and exoteric, his duty pertaining to his "class" in society, and the consequences of both esoteric and exoteric actions performed according - or not according - to his esoteric and exoteric dharma. - Phan Chon Ton
endon, (Greek), within
exo, (Greek), out of, outside.
(a) Cause and effect are, in a sense, inseparable, endexoteric, i.e., inherently within but being expressed (made manifest) without.
(b) Otherwise one could say "esoexoteric" or "esoexoteric"; "endexoteric" is more "trippingly" pronounced.
- Reg Stevens
ENDEXOTERIC (a. & n.) Of philosophical doctrine, mode of speech, etc., not readily intelligible to outsiders (cf. Exoteric) but intelligible to persons trained or knowledgable
along certain lines as to have the easy key to its understanding (cf., endemic, specific to certain classes of people, or life forms, as in endemic diseases) and not so arcane as to qualify for the use of the term Exoteric; more readily understandable to some, but not yet to the general public. (f. F. endemique, or mod. L. endemicus f. Gk. endemos: and Exoteric, (a) doctrine intelligible to outsiders, f. LL F. Gk. exoterikos, (exotero comparative of exo, outside.)
- S. Treloar
(An article by Claude Hughes on this subject is held over.)
SECRET DOCTRINE QUESTION AND ANSWER SECTION
From 1964 to 1980, Geoffrey Barborka's "Secret Doctrine Question and Answer Section" was a regular and popular feature of this magazine, and there was widespread disappointment among the readers when he was no longer able to conduct it. There have been several suggestions that the series be published in book form, and many more requests than could be filled for back issues containing early instalments. To partially respond to this interest, we shall be reprinting selections from the "Q and A Section". To make the re-issue even more useful, the material has been compiled under subject headings. The originals are identified by Volume and number at the end of each answer. - Eds.
13. ESOTERIC PHYSIOLOGY - PART II
Question. In The Secret Doctrine there is a passage regarding the "inner man": "During the activity of the inner man (during trances and spiritual visions) the eye swells and expands. The Arhat sees and feels it, and regulates his action accordingly." (S.D.II, 294; III, 296 6-vol. ed.; II, 308 3rd ed.) Can you further explain this passage?
Answer. The passage is from one of the Commentaries, quoted from the Book of Dzyan. In connection with so many of the passages quoted from the Book of Dzyan, symbols are used to express the ideas presented in the esoteric philosophy. Consequently the terms should not be taken literally. For instance, the term "inner man" certainly is not intended to convey the idea that there is a "man" within the physical body which may be brought into activity so as to produce spiritual visions. Nevertheless there is an "inner organ" which may be activated by one who knows how to do so and this
inner organ will produce spiritual visions. It is referred to in the quotation in the words following the parenthetical clause as "the eye" which "swells and expands" - again using symbolic words to clarify the idea - as well as the term "deva-eye":
"The 'deva-eye' exists no more for the majority of mankind. The third eye is dead, and acts no longer; but it has left behind a witness to its existence. This witness is now the pineal gland." (ibid., II, 295; III, 296 6-vol. ed; II, 308 3rd ed.)
A footnote also explains the significance of the activation of the "inner man" in connection with the "inner eye":
"The Inner sight could henceforth be acquired only through training and initiation, save in the cases of 'natural and born magicians,' sensitives and mediums, as they are called now." (ibid)
Question. Does the Eye of the Dangma refer to the pineal gland?
Answer. It does indeed, and further explanation regarding its activity was provided in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine.
"In India it is called 'the Eye of Siva,' but beyond the great range it is known as 'Dangma's opened eye' in esoteric phraseology.
"Dangma means a purified soul, one who has become a Jivanmukta, the highest adept, or rather a Mahatma so-called. His 'opened eye' is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily understood, i.e., the power of seeing at a distance, but rather the faculty of spiritual intuition, through which direct and certain knowledge is obtainable. This faculty is intimately connected with the 'third eye,' which mythological tradition ascribes to certain races of men." (S.D., I, 46; I, 118 6-vol. ed; I, 77 3rd ed.)
- Vol. 54, No. 2
Question. Is the cerebellum of the brain the physical organ of the instinctual mind and animal nature, and the cerebrum the physical expression of the reasoning and higher mind? (a) Where is the cerebellum located? (b)
Answer. (a) In answer to a question regarding the instinctual mind, H.P. Blavatsky replied:
"The instinctual mind finds expression through the cerebellum, and is also that of the animals. With man during sleep the functions of the cerebrum cease, and the cerebellum carries him on to the Astral plane, a still more unreal state than even the waking plane of illusion; for so we call this state which the majority of you think so real." (H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, X, 324).
The principles of the human constitution involved in the state of dreaming are Kama and Manas - more often called the Lower Mind; whereas the principles associated with the higher mind are Buddhi and Manas. As for the process of dreaming, H.P. Blavatsky continued:
"The dream state is common not only to all men, but also to all animals, of course, from the highest mammalia to the smallest birds, and even insects. Every being endowed with a physical brain, or organs approximating thereto, must dream. Every animal, large or small, has, more or less, physical senses; and
though these senses are dulled during sleep, memory will still, so to say, act mechanically, reproducing past sensations. That dogs and horses and cattle dream we all know, and so also do canaries, but such dreams are, I think, merely physiological. Like the last embers of a dying fire, with its spasmodic flare and occasional flames, so acts the brain in falling asleep." (ibid, X, 256)
(b) The cerebellum is situated in the back portion of the head, both below and behind the cerebrum and is in fact regarded as a part of the brain. It consists of a central lobe (that is, a rounded projection) and also two lateral lobes. During the waking state the cerebellum acts as the co-ordination centre of voluntary movements, posture and equilibrium. During the sleeping state the cerebellum is responsible for producing dreams. The word itself means a "little brain." The cerebrum is situated above the cerebellum and extends over it to the top part of the skull above the level of the eyes.
- Vol. 54, No. 4
Jung and the Lost Gospels. Insights into the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library, by Stephen A. Hoeller. Wheaton, Illinois: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1989. xix + 268 pp. Soft cover. Price $10.95 U.S.
The initial excitement over the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls lasted several years. Rightly so, because it was a momentous find. Nowadays, whenever they are mentioned in the media, their contents are for the most part ignored because the bickering of the scholars working on them is deemed more newsworthy.
It is a sad state of affairs. A recent estimate put it that 40 per cent of the scrolls have yet to see the light of day, being still locked up in scholars' desks. And that figure is probably on the generous side. The situation calls into question the responsibilities of those who were granted the privilege of studying and translating the old scriptures. Those working on the Gnostic documents found at the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 have done better, and much of that valuable material is now easily accessible to all who are interested.
Another sad state of affairs is that students of Theosophy and others interested in the old religions have generally neglected what has been made available from both discoveries. It is a pleasure therefore, in opening up Jung and the Lost Gospels, to find an interesting original study inspired by the material unearthed more than forty years ago.
Stephan Hoeller has twin interests in Gnosticism and Jungian philosophy. He is well versed in both subjects, on which he has delivered popular lectures for many years. In this book, he blends the two. Jung, as is well known, was influenced early in his research by Gnostic Christianity, and this study is therefore no opportunistic or gratuitous combination of ancient and modern thought.
In spite of its title, this book is not restricted to the 'lost" gospels. As well as some of the works that had been forgotten for the better part of two millennia until uncovered in the Nag Hammadi library, Hoeller also analyses longer known sources of Gnostic mythology. These include the Acts of Thomas, Pistis Sophia, and other scriptures. The Dead Sea Scrolls are less extensively covered, but not less interestingly.
For example, Hoeller's equation of the Essene Messiah with the Gnostic Christ, which is the subject of one of the chapters, may raise a few eyebrows. But it can be justified from a Jungian viewpoint, and as long as the question of Jewish Gnosticism remains unresolved, it is worth thinking about, and may provide an important clue to the Essene mystery.
Jung and the Lost Gospels is a useful study, and a "good read." Its publication is worthwhile not only for the contents, but also because it is a reminder that a fruitful field for comparative study has been untilled for more than forty years.
- Ted G. Davy
A READER'S NOTES
Pathways, the quarterly publication of the T.S. in Victoria, British Columbia, has just started its fifth annual volume. Articles on "Faith" open the Winter 1990 number, in which the chosen "Pathfinder" is Helen Keller. Also included are discussion highlights from the Victoria Lodge "Great Thinkers" program: the subject this time is Plato.
Subscription to Pathways is by donation. Write: P.O. Box 5733, Station B, Victoria, B.C., Canada, V8R 6S8.
The Theosophy Company (India) Private Ltd. has announced the publication of reprints of Studies in the Voice of the Silence ($0.75 U.S.) and Letters That Have Helped Me ($3.00 U.S.).
The latter is also available in a new French translation, Lettres qui m'on aide, from Textes Theosophiques. This is based on the Theosophy Company edition, with an index of nearly fifty pages added.
Although the Letters were written over a hundred years ago, they read as fresh as when first published. Today's aspirants to the higher life face the same challenges and difficulties putting the ideals into practice as those in the 19th century, and the wise advice sent by "Z" (William O. Judge) to "Jasper Niemand" (Julia Keightley) is as relevant to us as to her and her contemporaries.
The focus of this year's "Special Issue" of Sunrise magazine is "One in Essence, Manifold in Form." Over a dozen short articles treat this theme from various aspects.
Year after year Sunrise maintains a commendably high standard not only in the quality of the material published, but also in good writing and typography. It looks at all manner of subjects through "Theosophic Perspectives" - which term serves as its subtitle. Subscription (6 issues) is $7.50 in the U.S.A., $9.00 elsewhere. Also available on cassette tape at $25.00/$30.00 (prices in U.S. funds).
The Wizards Bookshelf 1990 catalog is here. This publisher of the Secret Doctrine Reference Series is owed much gratitude from students of Theosophy for bringing back into print at reasonable prices many significant old books that are quoted in The Secret Doctrine and other of Blavatsky's writings. The list also contains related titles from other publishers.
Wizards Bookshelf can be reached through Box 6600, San Diego CA, 92106, U.S.A.
Mahatma Gandhi's "Ashram Observances in Action" is the title of No. 3 in the Global Renaissance Series, published by Concord Grove Press, 1497 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101, U.S.A.
VOYAGE WITH MME. BLAVATSKY (Continued from page 34)
or temple, or whatever it happens to be, on the island, and we left the ship at Colombo, the first port she touched there.
"There was a great crowd of natives at the landing place to welcome the miracle worker, as they regarded her, and she was drawn through the streets in a barouche pulled by a score or more of enthusiastic natives to a very pretty bungalow which had been prepared for the party. Before I left for a run up country I dined with them and spent a morning on the broad piazza of the bungalow as well. The fence separating the front garden from the road was about fifty feet away from the house, and outside stood a larger or smaller crowd all day long, and as long into the night as she was in sight."
Our attention has also been drawn to the fact that the same voyage was mentioned by C. W. Leadbeater in an article, "How Theosophy Came To Me" (The Australian Theosophist, August, 1928, pp. 18-19). In it, he recounted the same anecdote, with variations, as that given by Col. Olcott (C.T. Jan-Feb 1990, pp. 122-123). This concerned Blavatsky's prophecy that the ship's Captain would soon leave the sea to take up a shore-based position. But Leadbeater also related yet another story about her powers, told him by a friend from his schooldays who had been Second Officer on the steamer in question. It goes as follows:
"... It seems that one evening he was on the bridge trying vainly to light a pipe in a high wind. Being on duty he could not leave the bridge, so he struck match after match only to see the flame instantly extinguished by the gale. Finally, with an expression of impatience, he abandoned the attempt. As he straightened himself he saw just below him a dark form closely wrapped in a cloak, and Madame Blavatsky's clear voice called to him:
"'Cannot you light it, then?'
"'No,' he replied, 'I do not believe that anyone could keep a match alight in such a wind as this.'
"'Try once more,' said Madame Blavatsky.
"He laughed, but he struck another match, and he assures me that in the midst of that gale and quite unprotected from it, that match burnt with a steady flame clear down to the fingers that held it. He was so astounded that he quite forgot to light his pipe after all, but H.P.B. only laughed and turned away."
TORONTO THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY TRAVELLING LIBRARY
The Traveling Library of the Toronto Theosophical Society is operating and offering books on loan by mail to Society members only in Canada. Inquiries to: Toronto Theosophical Society Travelling Library, 109 Dupont Street Toronto, Ontario M5R 1V4
CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS?
If you are a subscriber or a member-at-large and are planning to change your address, please send us a change of address card as soon as possible. If you are a member of a Lodge, please advise your Lodge Secretary so that the information may be passed to us. Second class mail is not re-addressed by the post office. - Eds.
REPRINTS OF OLD THEOSOPHICAL LITERATURE
Edmonton Theosophical Society is pleased to announce some of the titles recently added to its list of reprints of rare Theosophical books and journals.
Dawn: An Independent Australian Theosophical Journal (1921-1924)
The Irish Theosophist: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to Universal Brotherhood, The Study of Eastern Literature and Occult Science. Edited by D.N. Dunlop; published in Dublin, Ireland 1892-1897; five volumes.
Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel With Portion of the Books of the Saviour; translated from the Coptic Manuscript in the British Museum by Philip A. Malpas. (This is a copy of his typescript. In addition to the translation, it contains nearly 200 pages of valuable notes, including H.P. Blavatsky's commentary on portions of this abstruse work.)
The Platonist: Volumes I and II (18811885).
Solovyoff s Fraud: by Beatrice Hastings. A critical analysis of A Modern Priestess of Isis. Introduction by Michael Gomes.
Theosophical Siftings: Seven volumes of miscellaneous articles by early Theosophical writers. Originally published 1888-1895 in a series of booklets (eighteen per volume) each containing one or two major items.
All the above are in good quality bindings. For complete list, write:
Edmonton Theosophical Society
Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 5G6
MEMBERSHIP DUES Lodges and members-at-large are reminded that membership dues are payable before June 30, 1990. The individual fee is $14.00
If a "family membership" is desired, only an additional $5.00 is required for each other member in the same household where only one magazine is sent.
Please note: Members attached to Lodges should pay through their Lodge. (Lodge fees are also payable in some instances.) Members at large should send their cheques or money orders payable to The Theosophical Society in Canada, R.R. No.3, Burk's Falls, Ontario, POA 1C0
"THE SLEEPING SPHERES"
Now available: "The Sleeping Spheres" by Jasper Niemand, with notes by Willem B. Roos. Price $2.00 including postage. Available from: The Canadian Theosophist, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3C 2M3
TAPE LENDING LIBRARY
Audio and video cassette tapes of lectures, etc., are available on loan from the T.S. in Canada tape lending library. (This service is for residents of Canada only.) Write for list to: Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W., Calgary, Alberta. T3C 2M3.
BEACONSFIELD STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Suzanne Hassanein, 81 Heritage Rd., Beaconsfield, P.Q., H9W 3V2. (Phone 695-2618 or 697-8198).
CALGARY LODGE: President, Mr. Ted G. Davy, Secretary, Mrs. Doris Davy, 2307 Sovereign Cres. S.W. Calgary, Alta. T3C 2M3
DHARMA STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mrs. Diane Mottus, Box 145 Glendon, Alta., T0A 1P0
EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. Ernest E. Pelletier; Secretary, Mrs. Rogelle Pelletier, South Side Edmonton Post Office Box 4804, Edmonton, Alta. T6E 2A0. (Phone 434-9326).
HAMILTON LODGE: President, Sharon L. Taylor; Secretary, Laura Baldwin, 304 Emerson St., Hamilton, Ont. L8S 2Y7
MONTREAL STUDY CENTRE: Secretary, Mr. Fred Wilkes, 3679 Ste. Famille, No. 22, Montreal, P.Q. H2X 2L5
TORONTO LODGE: President, Mrs. Barbara Treloar, Secretary, Mr. John Huston; Lodge Rooms: 109 Dupont St., Toronto, Ont. M5R 1V4 (Phone 922-5571)
VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Marian Thompson; Sec.-Treas. Mrs. Anne Whalen, Lodge Rooms, Room 413, Dominion Building, 207 West Hastings St., Vancouver, V6B 1H7.
HERMES LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Larry Gray; Secretary, Mrs. Eva V. Sharp. Lodge Rooms: 2 - 2807 West 16th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C5. (Phone 733-5684 or 266-7340.)
KALEVALA STUDY CENTRE, VANCOUVER: Secretary; Mrs. Hellin Savolainen, 1604 6055 Nelson Ave., B.C. V5H 4L4.
ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Mr. Eric Hooper, Sec. Treas. Mrs. Lillian Hooper. (Phone 589-4902 or 731-7491.)
VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Fiona Odgren; Secretary, Mrs. Dorita Gilmour
ATMA VIDYA LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. H. Tidberry. Enquiries c/o General Secretary.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
2307 Sovereign Crescent S.W., Calgary, Alberta T3C 2M3
- Modern Theosophy, by Claude Falls Wright. Cloth $1.75
- The Exile of the Soul, by Roy Mitchell - a key to the understanding of occult psychology. Cloth $2.75
- Theosophic Study, by Roy Mitchell, a book of practical guidance in methods of study. Paper $1.00
- Course in Public Speaking, by Roy Mitchell. Especially written for Theosophical students. $3.00
- The Use of the Secret Doctrine, by Roy Mitchell. 10c
- Theosophy, An Attitude Toward Life, by Dudley Barr. 50c
- The Wisdom of Confucius, by Iverson L. Harris. 25c
Postage extra on all titles